When a person becomes a seeker for spiritual truth, they are moving from a maturation point that can be a culmination of past lives blended with the current life or they can be spurred by current life experiences or a spiritual teacher has touched their hearts in some way, in this lifetime. Either way, there is a point where one begins to question reality, seek for deeper meaning and search for the “real” truth.
Over the past few years, growing appreciation has happened inside of me with the Bhagavad Gita. Until recently, it had little ability to capture my attention. However, evolving within is the comprehension of the interaction between Krishna and Arjuna and its profound, life transforming message. It is utterly human and relates to every person’s struggle with understanding the purpose of life, how and what one cultivates as they mature in their spiritual being and the relationship that we hold directly with the Divine, whatever the “Divine” may be. One can find the “Divine” in a tree, a doll, a car, a book or any other self-fabricated design. After all, the Divine exists in all manifestations, in some way.
Eventually, the seeker comes to discover that the ultimate, the “Divine” cannot be defined nor can it be grasped. One must surrender, allow, become humble and rest in the present moment allowing the force of consciousness to transform one into a brilliant light expressing truth. This is where life leads us in our journey, I do believe and tend to experience continuously.
In the 17th chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna begins to take Arjuna to the next level of his seeking and relationship with the “Divine”.
All information that can be shared to cultivate and reorient the being has been shared up to this point inside previous chapters.
Now, the emphasis is on one’s ability to be honest, truthful and straightforward. This is the essence of the first step towards enlightenment. In the ancient texts, this is called: “sraddha”. In this holy book of ancient secrets, an entire chapter is dedicated to this theme because most people miss this important quality in the development of their character, which provides a fertile bed for consciousness to grow.
So often, the tendency is to read and then know yet, what was just learned is not implemented in ones life. The knowledge becomes empty words absent of the sweet wisdom that rests behind the experience of truth. Seekers become full of knowledge and then avoid digesting the knowledge so that it actually becomes a part of their being, ultimately delivering a transformational experience.
Krishna emphasizes in this chapter that “sraddha” is the ONLY thing that can transform one’s life and lead them to the next level of their experience towards enlightenment and integration of their being. Again, sraddha is the ability to be honest, truthful and straightforward.
Great teachers such as Buddha, Christ, Osho, Krishnamurti, Ghandi, and many others have been living examples of how truth transforms the being and radiates what these principles impart, ultimately. Away from merely proclaiming, writing, telling or teaching, their lives have been a brilliant illustration of an aware being deeply immersed in Truth, ultimately transforming people merely by their presence.
What made each of these brilliant models was the intensity and sincerity that they applied in their seeking. That level of intensity requires one to experience and taste, execute and play with the truth, to truly see what it is. That takes great courage. And it has a very different quality when we listen to and experience their words or embrace their presence.
The reason why testing, experiencing and discovering truth takes courage is because it goes to the heart of the matter for most: the ego. As my teacher says, in gambling we take a risk and may win something. When the seeker begins to apply spiritual disciplines, such as meditation, purification and physical stretching exercises and so on, one wins to the fullest potential. However, this takes tremendous courage to lay our ego on the line and surrender our whole being to a possibility that we have not tested or tasted, as of yet. It’s not real inside when it has not been experienced and has only been understood through a book, a video or a discussion with another. Ultimately, when there is no experience or testing of truths to gain real understanding, the sharing of ideas become a noisy, heavy mind full of data yet, absent of an important frequency behind the words spoken that makes it come alive for anyone they share with. The words uttered by the one lack of experience becomes static noise, which can be annoying or entertaining at the most, that is all.
Observe how it feels to overeat and consume too much food. The minute we pass a certain point of fullness, the body turns on itself as it reads the fullness as “toxic”. No longer is the body able to digest and assimilate the food. So, one ends up with a stomach ache, a headache, and sometimes, this will make a person vomit. In the same way, when one takes information in, detailing, cataloguing and then begins to dispense it without any experience, they are vomiting on every ear turned in its direction. Empty words with no experience is not healthy for anyone and can become dangerous.
It is delusion that makes us think that once we have taken in lots of knowledge, that we know for certain and we are now an expert in the matter. I liken this understanding to my experiment with HD. When I look at all the articles, the booklets and the blah, blah, that I have written on the subject truly, i can see that there is zero wisdom behind my words and that it is only “copy and paste” knowledge. There has been naught of transformational value in my experience. Even the knowledge has to be “undone” inside of me so that I can get to truth. It doesn’t matter what “type” I am or even how it navigates the mind, I must drop the mind and its silly game and go beyond it.
This is the reason why I keep removing and deleting information. It actually makes me slightly queezy when I read the material – it’s true. It is best to stop vomiting on the reader or listener and radically lead them in another direction, if they are listening and paying attention. Deeply, I am committed to transmitting something that is rich, effective and worthwhile for transforming others into a better space and place in their life journey. No matter what.
There is a beautiful story in a book that is a commentary that my teacher has written on the Bhagavad Gita. Each time I randomly open to this passage and read it, I am moved to tears. It is so profound, so true and so deep as it transforms, humbles, and expands one’s heart, immediately.
Allow me to share my version of an ancient, true story here:
Once upon a time, there was a great saint named Daksinamurti Swamigal that resided in a quiet village area of southern India. This great saint radiated immense wisdom, power and possessed the ability to transform any man’s mind into stillness and quiet space.
A talented poet happened upon this great saint one day while he was resting quietly under his tree. The poet was so deeply touched by his presence, so much so, that he wrote a song of praise, honoring him in such a way that only a king should be honored, as accustomed in those days. For this type of poem, one thousand versus long, was meant to be written only, for the one who displayed immense courage, power and ability to slay a thousand elephants in a battle of war.
This poet was so taken by Daksinamurit Swamigal, that he sat down and wrote this special kind of poem right on the spot while in his presence. This immediately placed the saint in the position of the powerful, courageous warrior, reserved for kings, called “Bharani”.
In the land where the poet and the saint resided, there was a king who considered himself to be a Bharani. One day out of ego and pride, he announced to his court that he was the greatest in the land and the only Bharani throughout his vast empire, from north to south and from the east to west. In every direction, not a single Bharani could be found beyond him. He was so full of pride and conceit that it was hard to imagine that he had earned this very important title, however, somehow he had.
Suddenly, one of the king’s poets stood up and said, “Dear king, you are certainly not the only Bharani in the land. There is a saint named Dakshinmurti Swamigal who is a Bharani as one of your poets has written a song of thousand versus for him and now there are two in this vast land where you hold dominion and power”.
Of course, this outraged the prideful king who immediately became full of anger and demanded that the court attendants bring the saint who had earned this title of “Bharani” to his palace as quickly as possible.
The poet who had informed him about this occurrence began to explain to the king, “Your majesty, this is not possible for the saint is a beggar and a beggar cannot be forced in any way!”
He went further to explain how a saintly beggar has no desires and refuses to obey the social system. For this type of beggar does not care for fame, money, name, security or home; he cannot be bound or forced, even by the king and his royal court or royal army.
Upon hearing this, the king became deeply offended and demanded that the poet who wrote this special song of a thousand versus be brought to him immediately.
Very soon, the captivated poet arrived in the kings presence and humbly presented himself asking for forgiveness yet, pleading and insisting that before the king insults the beggar worthy of praise, he should meet and visit with the saintly man.
With that suggestion, the king commanded the poet’s head to be cut off and severed the very next morning.
You can see here that this is the usual reaction of this king: violence, absent of maturity, compassion or humble leadership. When someone behaves like this it becomes obvious that they are not examples of truth or wisdom. Therefore, when one does not possess truth in their being, they result to violence.
Again, the king proclaimed to his court attendants, “Kill him. I insist that tomorrow morning, upon the first rays of the sun, you cut off his head!”
The poet who wrote the song of praise then replied, “I have no problem with this. I have experienced the Truth through this great master and I am ready to die, if it must be so. However, I must add that before I die, it behooves you to meet this great saint if you are truly an intelligent man. I ask that you refrain from punishing me until you have encountered his presence. Then, I will be ready to die.”
The king was so taken with this poets devotion that he could not deny him and decided to grant his request. Now his curiosity was overwhelming peaked to its fullest, which suddenly caused a desire in him to journey across the land to meet this great saint. Anyone who could cause the court’s poet to write the song of Bharani, creating two in this vast land ruled by his royal hand must be worthy of a visit, he conceded as he pondered the situation at hand.
“Alright”, he agreed.
On the next day, the king set off across the land with his chariots, foot soldiers, elephants, armies and all of his warriors. A king must travel with this sort of thing to maintain his identity, which is very important to this prideful king, as one can see.
The large body of warriors and their king traveled across the land for several hours to visit the small, quiet village where this newly appointed, recognized Bharani lived.
Once they arrived at the place where the saint was residing, they found him sitting under a tree, naked, without clothing and in blissful repose, resting peacefully in samadhi, lost in existence in complete intense silence and peace. This silence and peaceful space was so intense and powerful, anyone would be penetrated and transformed by its presence; just like the poet who had just recently visited him, experiencing his divine state and moved to poetry and song.
The king dismounted his chariot and walked towards the saint sitting beneath the tree. The saint did not move, even after hearing all the commotion of the king and his army arriving. He remained still and quiet with his eyes closed.
As the king was walking towards him, suddenly, the saint opened his eyes and peered deeply into the eyes of the king.
This was an usual thing since most visitors would bow their heads when happening upon the presence of the royal king. Even when he would look straight into the eyes of another, each time, they would bow their heads and look away. The king was taken back that someone had the courage to face him eye-to-eye, without flinching or hesitation and with such courage. It awed him.
Upon experiencing the great saints courage, the king suddenly looked down. He could not bear the intensity of the holy one’s presence and divine boldness. At the same time, he felt something happening inside of him that was changing him, transforming him rapidly. He did not know how to act, what to think or what to do next. This made him begin to feel as though he was the beggar, not the king that his own ego and pride had created him to be.
He felt incredibly overwhelmed in that moment and did not know what to do. He was speechless and stopped in his tracks.
The sage sitting under the tree motioned for the king to sit down in front of him. He spoke no words and made no sounds, only the gesture of his hands commanded the king into his next move. Just as the king settled himself into a seating position on the ground, so did his entire army as they followed suit, laying down their weapons and settling into a position for quiet listening and experiencing. This was truly, an unusual happening for a powerful army to settle into quiet abeyance and lack of movement or sound; unheard of.
One hour passed; two hours passed; three hours and then, evening also passed. Even the next day continued in silence and soon passed. Not a single word was uttered between anyone as the entire royal troupe and the king, with the saint, sat in stillness and silence. Two days passed and then a third day.
Finally, on the third day, the sage thought to himself, “this is too much for them”.
For no one had even rose to attend to their hunger or toilet needs. Each person sat immovable, quiet and in gentle compliance to the great master with deep respect. The silence of this great master was so profound, so deep, so courageous, it challenged the most aggressive and brutal.
On this third day, the master opened his eyes. Looking at the king, and with tremendous grace he quietly said, “Now, you can go”.
In that immediate moment, the king fell at the great saints feet, wept silently, bowing in deep reverence.
A moment later, the king slowly rose from his place of humble praise and devotion, turned towards his chariot to leave and gestured his army to follow him out of the forest to make their way back to the palace. Again, no words were needed as it became obvious what the next step would be for the king who had just experienced a profound moment in the presence of this great saint.
Once the king had arrived back to his palace, he summoned the poet who was set for beheading to come immediately. As the poet stood quietly and peacefully in front of him, the king humbly said to the poet who wrote the song of praise for the great saint, “Forget one-thousand elephants, you may sing and compose your songs for the one who has killed ten-thousand elephants”. For in the kings mind, there was none greater in all the land. A thousand elephants slain was not enough praise for this great saint.
Then, the poet responded to the king, “Killing ten-thousand elephants is easy, your majesty, you only need weapons. However, killing the mind, as this great saint has done takes great courage and power, becoming the real achievement”.
The great saint, Dakshinamurti Swamigal, had not only killed his own mind, he had the ability to kill anyone else’s mind when they sat in his presence.
This takes tremendous courage.